Laurie Williams, adult education coordinator at Memphis Botanic Garden, was recently awarded the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s President’s Award for her contribution to establishing and maintaining viable community forests in Tennessee. Williams was one of seven individuals the urban forestry council honored this year.
Hometown: I grew up all over the United States. Tennessee is the 11th state that I’ve lived in.
Experience: This is actually my third career. I started out as an occupational therapist and then became a clinical therapist. I have always been interested in the field of horticultural therapy (that’s how I ended up at the Botanic Garden), but funding is not available.
Family: I’m married to my high school sweetheart.
Favorite quote: My father’s “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken poop.”
Favorite movie: “Steel Magnolias,” “The Color Purple” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”
The sports team you root for: I don’t even watch the Super Bowl.
What’s playing on your stereo right now? Soft alternative
Activities you enjoy outside of work: Gardening and paper arts
What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could sing.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My third-grade reading teacher worked with a poor reader and brought me up several grade levels. I love to read to this day.
How long have you been involved with Memphis Botanic Garden? I became involved with the Botanic Garden when I moved to Memphis in 1991.
What is the mission of the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council? TUFC’s main objective is to promote the planting and maintenance of urban tree canopies.
What does winning the council’s President’s Award mean to you? I’m a little embarrassed by it; my tree team volunteers deserve it more than me.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Completing a six-day, 146-mile horseback trail ride with 200 emotionally disturbed/conduct disordered kids.
What do you most enjoy about your work? I love working with people and plants.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Volunteer. You meet amazing people in volunteer situations.
Edward A. Wise has been awarded the American Psychological Association’s 2013 Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology. Wise is the founder and president of Mental Health Resources PLLC.
Cecil Godman has been named partner and chief marketing officer at Mercury Investment Group, where he will lead business development and client service operations. Godman most recently served as senior vice president for business development and marketing for First Tennessee Advisory Services and Highland Capital Management.
Lucas M. Parris, a vice president at Mercer Capital, has earned the American Society of Appraisers’ accredited senior appraiser designation in the business valuation discipline. Parris is a senior member of Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group.
Linda Marks, inter-faith relations officer at Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, has been awarded the 2013 Daniel Pearl Legacy Award by the local Pearl B’nai B’rith Girls youth group. Marks was chosen for her work at MIFA to foster tolerance and bridge gaps among community members and to promote the dignity of human lives.
John Phillips, chief investment officer with Red Door Wealth Management, has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute. Phillips has worked in the financial industry for six years and co-founded Red Door in 2010.
Bikes Plus Inc. owners Steve Malogorski, Glen Hixson and Karen Malogorski have been awarded the 2013 Memphis Rising Star Award from the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Southwest Tennessee Community College. The award is given to a company that exemplifies business success and an outstanding working relationship with the small-business development center.
Sullivan Branding has recently hired four employees and promoted four more. The agency hired Daniela Vander Zwiep as digital analyst, Justin Achelpohl as an art director, Markelo Foster as a graphic designer and Allison Hodges as a media coordinator. Lauren Harvill and Michelle Simkin were promoted to senior art directors from art directors, and Amanda Lewis and Madeline Patterson were promoted to account executives from account coordinators.
Lowell Hinte has been promoted to account executive at Second to Nunn Design. Hinte began at S2N in 2009 as a designer, and became an account manager in 2012. Allie Mounce and Alan Hudgins have joined Second to Nunn as graphic designers. Both will assist in designing and creating websites and print projects.
Jeff Irvan of Solberg Group, the Memphis Sonic Drive-In franchise organization, has been awarded Sonic’s Operational Excellence Award, which honors an individual for developing employee talent and encouraging sales and profit growth over a period of several years. Irvan has been with Sonic since 2006.
United Housing Inc. and the Binghampton Development Corp. have been awarded the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Founders Award. The award recognized the organizations for their homebuyer education efforts.